It's a Great Computer, Steve
Thursday, October 20, 1994 by Dave Winer.
Check out Laurie Hays piece in today's Wall Street Journal about the deal that Apple and IBM are working on. I'm going to take the article at face value and assume that it describes the actual deal that Apple and IBM is working on.
The deal needs to be re-designed.
To roll the deal out to the public, Apple should manufacture a private-label version of the Macintosh for IBM. Replace the 6-color Apple logo with a big blue IBM. Do a global search-and-replace in the docs, changing "Apple" to "IBM." (Use Microsoft Word, if possible, just to add to the positive energy.)
This product should ship in early 1995.
Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to port the Mac OS to IBM's version of the PowerPC, use the money for rebates. The ad should say: "As long as you're buying a new PC, why not buy the best?" Key secret: despite Microsoft's best intentions, people are going to have to upgrade their hardware to run Windows 95. Here's your chance guys! The window is open now, and will stay open for a few years.
Run another ad -- "Buy a great new PowerPC and help out a third-world country." The body would say: "Upgrade your old PC before Easter and we'll donate your old equipment to the United Nations for use in a developing country. And we'll give you a certificate worth $400 towards the purchase of compatible software." With this, you gain a lever with independent developers, get to help out a good cause, and be irreverent, and get to position the competition, all at the same time. Sounds like fun!
Drop the price. And then go lower. There should be exactly one model of this machine. Make it a screamer. Totally self-contained, set it up by turning it on. Big hard drive. Beautiful color screen. The most beautiful form-factor that you can manufacture in the millions of units.
It's biggest and best feature is that it doesn't run Windows! You gotta love it. It means that you won't have to deal with all of Windows' bullshit. It's easy to use, very deep, has lots of software, and great energy. It's a Mac, the original graphic operating system. It has legs.
Finally, to Steve Ballmer who asks: "Why buy an IBM machine with Apple software?"
Because it's a GREAT FUCKING COMPUTER, Steve.